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Young People in Real Estate: Meet Ana Bardas

Millennials in the workplace: what’s the first thing that comes to mind when you read this? That they won’t stay there for too long? It’s only natural: young people tend to be bolder, more adventurous. But young people are ambitious, too. Their focus on “going from zero to hero” and building up their careers is perhaps stronger than anyone else’s. There are many ways in which they can develop professionally, and many choose to do so by sticking to one of their first – if not actually their first – employers. At Colliers, we’ve witnessed such accomplishments over the years. Most of our seniors joined the team when the real estate market was only budding, and our professionals grew together with it. Young professionals in a young market, it seemed only fitting. Today, however, is not about them. Even after the Romanian real estate market matured, we continued to attract young talents and established a tradition of nurturing their potential and guide it on the road from good to great.

Today, we take pride in our new generation of Young People in Real Estate.

Meet Ana, our 29-year-old Associate in the Valuation & Advisory department.

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Remember the AB team? She’s one of the three members. With a bachelor’s degree in Land and Cadastral Measurements at Transilvania University in Brasov and a master’s degree in Information Systems in Cadaster and Land Registration at the Technical University of Constructions in Bucharest, Faculty of Geodesy, Ana has the “there and back again” type of journey in Colliers. She came as an intern, left to find a job suited to her studies, but in the end returned to the team – it took a touch of luck and an open position in the same department. 
Before I joined Colliers, I have worked approximately 4 months in a company that is active in geodetic engineering, where I was responsible for land surveying, processing and preparing the cadastral documentation for the registration of real estate in the cadaster system existing in the country. So, I can say that my first long-term job is within Colliers. 6 years ago, being in my last year at master's degree, I was looking for a job, and the first time I heard about Colliers was from a teacher. She presented the company to us as one of the most well-known real estate consulting companies, with extensive experience in this business, as well as the opportunity to make an internship within the Valuation and Advisory department. I liked what I heard, and I said that I must take in this opportunity, considering that there is also the possibility to stay in the company after this internship.
What gives an office the homey feeling? Is it the design? Is it the people? Judging by our young professionals’ reactions when meeting us, we’d say both. Ana had a similar experience, which was essential in making her choose and stick with us.
The first thing I said to myself was: wow! It was the first time I stepped into an open space office, which besides having a nice design, it gave me that feeling of comfort that you have when you go home after a while. The people I have interacted with were smiling, with a positive energy and made me feel like we had known each other for some time. As an emotional person, this approach helped me and made me understand that I was in the right place. I must mention that the first time I came at Colliers was for a presentation of the internship program; after completing a task, two candidates were to be selected for the internship. I really liked the persons who held the presentation due to their open attitude, passion, and effort to make the presentation understandable for all of us, especially since not everyone came from the real estate business. Of course, they did not miss the good mood and positive energy that I told you about earlier, and when I left, I knew very well what I had to do for the next step and to be selected, which eventually happened.
Ana has had a very curious adventure in Colliers – and we say curious because it I absolutely fascinating how destiny, circumstance, coincidence, luck, good timing – you name it – can play an important part in someone’s life. But perhaps we are the sum of our choices and the butterfly effect reaches out to unknown results. Either way, here’s how Ana’s choice would later create a rewarding timeline in her Colliers journey:
It was an exciting journey, with a mix of feelings, in which I have improved both my personal and professional sides, and now I am part of a solid team with extensive experience in real estate valuation. But let's start from the beginning. Two months after the end of the internship (which lasted 9 months) I decided to return home to Sighisoara and continue looking for a full-time job. I like to say that destiny has also contributed, because on my last day in Bucharest, when I came to say goodbye to my colleagues with whom I got along very well and I created a good connection, I found out that in the valuation department where I made the internship it was opened an assistant position. That's how I applied again, I went through the necessary interviews and here I am, after 5 years. During the first 3 years I have offered support on the administrative side, I was involved in various valuation projects and my goal was to grow more and more in the real estate valuation business, being inspired by my colleagues, seeing their dedication and professionalism. Since 2019 I am part of the AB team (as we like to say - Anca Baldea, Aurelia Bobe and I) within the valuation department, a team where open communication, flexible leadership, but also sharing knowledge is the key to create an enabling environment for professional development, as well as to provide quality services to our clients.

Sometimes, making a choice to stay in a market or at a job you know nothing about can be quite risky. Doubts may arise, insecurities may grow slowly. But there are aspects that can influence one in sticking to their choice, no matter how difficult a path it may create. How do you overcome the challenges you may face? Ana handled them gracefully. On top of that, she stuck with us a few good years.

It was a challenge for me from the beginning to create a career in real estate because I came from another business and I had to learn almost everything from scratch. Fears also appear, but with the will and support from my colleagues, it is not difficult to overcome them. I am in a process of continuous learning and development, I am happy for this promotion and all I can do from now on is to improve myself further, to help my colleagues and to offer our clients a pleasant experience, together with quality services. The work environment made me stay in Colliers. I am surrounded by empathetic people, with good energy, always available to help and that gives you the feeling of security. Besides this, we have an organizational culture and environment in which you can improve professional and personal, and you can learn from people who have an extensive area of expertise in real estate. Speaking of the things I learned, I think the most important is the acceptance that we are different, and we find the best formula to work together. I am different because I have more knowledge in the real estate market. On personal side, I want to improve something for myself all the time, and the courses, workshops, and other development tools that the company offers us are a challenge every time.
Ana stuck with Colliers, but she is also sticking with real estate as well. It’s not a field that is getting a lot of attention in schools and universities, but once young people get to know it better, they seem to not let it go that easily.
I stay in the real estate business because, besides the work environment, I like what I do. Being a technical person, the fact that our knowledge materializes in these valuation reports is a satisfaction. I also like that we are client oriented, and we make the difference in the real estate valuation market, having a good technical expertise, we are prompt, and we offer reliable solutions. All these things, as well as the gratitude of the clients, give you satisfaction and the desire to progress every time. If I have started on this path, yes, I’ll still stay, especially since I have a lot to learn and I like what I do.

Seeing that she was recently promoted from Assistant to Associate, it’s only fair to have Ana sharing some advice on how to grow in the real estate industry:

My advice is to work every day for their goals, to realize that mistakes are part of the learning process, and if you have the will, nothing can stop you. Real estate has several segments that offer you many development opportunities that meet everyone’s needs. And finally, I think they need to be surrounded by people with good expertise in this business, willing to share their knowledge.

Ana is tenacious and perseverant – we’re sure she’ll do an amazing job from now on as part of our team. She is the one that, only for the time being, brings to a conclusion our #YoungPeopleInRealEstate section. At Colliers, there are still young real estate professionals “in the making”, and only time will tell where their determination takes them. We promise that soon enough we’ll get back to you with updates. Stay tuned!